Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
on Tuesday instructed the security forces to take a firm hand against those who hurt IDF soldiers and commanders after settlers
pelted the vehicle of a brigade commander and raided an army base in the West Bank on Monday night. "This warrants harsh condemnation. The security forces must be focused on protecting Israeli citizens and not on such intolerable violations of the law," he said.
Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni,
on her part, accused Netanyahu of creating the recent wave of radicalization. "Settler violence is another stage in the radicalization that Israel is experiencing with the approval of the Netanyahu administration, whether it be direct or indirect."
She added, "Backing radical bills, staying silent in the face of radical rabbis and giving a wink and a nod to coalition partners are breeding ground for weeds. We cannot allow a radical group to determine our fate."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the actions "were of a home-grown terrorist nature that cannot be accepted." He described the perpetrators as "criminal radicals."
Speaking to the Ephraim Brigade commander, Yesha Council head Danny Dayan slammed the rioters' behavior.
"As the head of the Yesha Council but no less importantly as a resident of the sector you oversee I know how dedicated you, your commanders and soldiers are for our safety. What happened last night is wrong, shameful and ungrateful. The perpetrators must turn themselves in and failing that must be apprehended and prosecuted," Dayan said.
MK Uri Ariel (National Union) said: "The raid on the base and the damage caused to property are wrong. I condemn the rioters who took part in the act. This incident must never repeat itself."
Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer said, "The answer to last night's mass riots must be a new reinforcement of the law in the territories and primarily the evacuation of outposts which have become a symbol of anarchy and capitulation.
"Tonight has proven once again that it isn’t the Left that persecutes and endangers IDF soldiers but thousands of young settlers who were brought up on the Yesha ideology, became radicalized and went out of control."
Meanwhile, extreme right-wing elements claimed that "Bibi and Barak are responsible for the events at the IDF base. Instead of creating calm and insuring that outposts will be dealt with like Bedouin construction, they discriminate against the settlers and cause frustration."
Yair Altman contributed to this report